Community Businesspeople Feeling Media Impact

This morning, I had the honor and pleasure of speaking to one of the most respected small business groups in my hometown, the West Bloomfield Optimist Club.  But, in many ways, it could have been any similar organization anywhere in the country.  I led a wide-ranging discussion about communicating in a down economy, how to distinguish your business through communications and what’s happening with the media outlets they depend upon for information.

In the question and answer portion of my program, I heard a high level of awareness of the evolution in the way we, as a society, are communicating and the sweeping changes underway in the media business.  I heard a lot of concern about the upcoming delivery changes planned by the Detroit Media Partnership for the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News.  At the same time, this group seemed to understand that “mass media” is being quickly replaced by “personalized information.”

Whenever I talk to groups like this, I realize the power of what we do for a living.  Communications really has an impact on people and on businesses, in ways they can truly understand when asked to think about it.

One point raised toward the end of the discussion was from a member of the group confused as to why advertisers don’t care about seniors, even though they are the fastest-growing segment of the population.  I told him that I can’t defend it, but it’s considered gospel in the ad business that one you are over 54, you become a saver, not a spender.  He said “My AmEx bill was $4600 last month.  Don’t tell me I’m not a spender.”  Good point.